Gelatin is a current topic in the confectionery industry. New gelatin substitutes provide diverse ways of producing confectionery products with desired texture and flavor.

Different kinds of starches have been used in confectionery applications for years. Historically the usage of starches has been driven by the desire to reduce costs – for example, modified potato starch is a cost-efficient partial substitute for gelatin. Gelatin and Pectin, with highly fluctuating market prices, are still widely used. Previously, replacing gelatin completely was not possible using only starches. Yet the landscape today looks quite different and offers a range of diverse, exciting innovations.

Together with Emsland Stärke, Haarla is able to offer a solution for 100% gelatin replacement with minimal impact to the sensory and texture properties in confectionery applications. Environmentally-friendly products continue to be in high demand in the markets, as the vegan trend keeps growing.

Modified pea starches for confectionery production

Yellow pea based starches are very suitable gelling starches compared to potato based due to the pea’s high amylose content (~35% versus ~20%). Pea starches are one of the rare plant-based alternatives that can completely replace gelatin in most confectionery products while producing gelatin-like properties. Products containing specialty pea starch are also more thermostable.

Figure 1 illustrates the viscosity changes of Emden® ET 15, Emden® ET 50, and gelatin with temperature. Emden® ET 50 exhibits higher viscosity than Emden® ET 15 during heating. Nonetheless, they achieve the same gelling level upon cooling.

Figure 2's spider web graph displays the textural differences between modified potato starch, Emden® ET 50, Emden® ET 15, and gelatin. Emden® ET 15 and ET 50 closely match gelatin's texture, unlike modified potato starch. This allows Emden® ET 15 and ET 50 to fully replace gelatin in plant-based jellies, unlike the partial replacement possible with modified potato starch.

Haarla’s partner Emsland Group has developed functional pea starches for replacing gelatin. In addition to the Emden® ET 50, which is used in continuous processes, we provide the highly diverse Emden® ET 15 pea starch. Developed through a thorough process of trial and error, its low viscosity level makes it suitable for nearly all confectionery cooking processes, including batch cooking and open pan or kettle cooking. The starch also allows for the drying of confectionery products at room temperature.

The yellow pea starch based Emden® ET 50 and Emden® ET 15 have optimal processing qualities for confectionery applications.

The innovative Emden® ET 15 is also the answer to the increasing use of the “No added sugar” label. It can be used to replace sugar with fruit concentrate or allulose in jellies for excellent texture.

By the way, we also have a third-generation of pea starch, a cold-water functional starch, already on the way. Want to hear more about our gelatin replacement innovations? Get in touch with our experts.